Book review – Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

As ever with Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie novels, this is an easy book to read.  Having read her previous novels Case Histories, One Good Turn and When Will There Be Good News, I was familiar with Brodie and have grown to like him (I like him even more now that he has rescued a dog from his cruel owner!).

His character has developed over the books and we now have an understanding of his problems with women, including his ex-wives and his daughter, and how he is driven by the death of his younger sister. He also now seems to have developed a desire to visit every Betty’s tea room and every ruined abbey in North England!

The book is set in Leeds and there is always something pleasurable when you read about places you know so well:  the Merrion Centre, Kirkstall Abbey and Roundhay Park to name a few. 

The fairly complex story revolves around a theme of adopted/orphaned children trying to understand their past and come to terms with the hand life has dealt them. 

It is a tale about identity and interwines the lives of several unlikely characters, bringing everything to a denouement at the end.  Although not all the loose ends are tried up …

The book opens in present day Leeds but moves back in time to incidents that happened in the mid 1970s. 

It is a marvellously readable book which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Reserve a copy online, and collect from your nearest library.